IS A COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE RIGHT FOR YOU?
Not all divorces have to be acrimonious, long-fought court battles. Increasingly, couples want to take the animosity and anger out of their divorce proceedings. In these cases, divorcing couples turn to divorce lawyers who have experience guiding clients through a collaborative divorce.
What Is Collaborative Divorce?
Traditional divorce pits spouse against spouse as each person, with the help of their lawyers, tries to get the best possible personal outcome. For some, that means leaving the marriage with the majority of the jointly held assets. For others, it might be a fight to get sole physical and legal custody of minor children. For others, it’s a fight to minimize or maximize child support or alimony payments. Not surprisingly, once the process is finally finished, the now-divorced parties often have bitter feelings toward one another that may color their future interactions with one another.
A collaborative divorce is a alternative process for dissolving a marriage. During a collaborative divorce, each spouse — with the guidance of his or her collaborative divorce lawyer — tries to reaching an amicable, mutually agreeable divorce settlement. The couple and their lawyers will meet collectively, and each person will also meet separately with his or her collaborative divorce lawyer. Other professionals, such as financial advisers, may also be called on for their expertise.
The goal is for the divorcing couple and their lawyers to walk into divorce court having already reached agreements on the division of assets, child custody arrangement, alimony and child support payments. No long, drawn out court battles mediated by the judge, no hard feelings because one person or the other got a raw deal.
Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You?
Couples with minor children are particularly interested in collaborative divorce, since they may have many more years of co-parenting ahead of them. But the process also works for couples who are childless or whose children are adults.
Collaborative divorce isn’t right for all divorcing couples. Before agreeing to a collaborative divorce, ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I trust my spouse to be open and honest throughout the divorce proceedings?
- Are we able to treat one another respectfully?
- Are we committed to jointly solving problems that occur during the process?
- Are we both seeking a win-win solution, or is one of us looking to settle an old score?
- Can we focus on having a respectful relationship with one another after our divorce is complete, particularly if we have minor children?
- Are we both ready to move forward or are there unresolved conflicts that could derail the collaborative divorce process?
If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions, then you and your spouse may be candidates for a collaborative divorce. Should you have any questions about collaborative divorce or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.
Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Business Immigration, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.
This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.